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The Customer Journey Mapping Process That Drives ROI

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 04/29/2022

Customer journey mapping lays a strong foundation for the success of your customer experience initiatives. But only if it’s done right. So having a research-backed customer journey mapping process is critical.

Unfortunately, that’s where most journey mapping initiatives go wrong. Almost two-thirds fail to drive action. That’s not all that surprising, since most neglect to include a change management approach.

A solid customer journey mapping process reveals customer’s unmet needs. The insights it provides help guide and prioritize your journey improvement efforts. It generates support from leadership and engages your workforce. It involves a broad, cross-functional team that breaks down silos and fosters collaboration.

But it also drives a customer-obsessed culture shift within your organization. That’s where the real value lies. Ultimately, it’s not about creating an attractive map or holding workshops. It’s about improving outcomes for customers and the business.

The four-phase customer journey mapping process Heart of the Customer has created is designed to combat the inertia that dooms so many mapping efforts. That’s the key to transforming how you do business.

Here’s how those phases break down:

1. Discovery Phase

During this phase, you set parameters for your mapping initiative and decide what journey you are going to map. Review all the existing research and financial data that you can get your hands on. Interview stakeholders. Conduct a hypothesis mapping workshop to get an internal understanding of the current-state journey. This phase is all about data gathering…and generating enthusiasm and buy-in for the work ahead.

2. Customer Immersion Phase

This phase focuses on capturing the journey from the customer’s perspective and identifying the moments that matter most. It’s here that you engage directly with customers. Ideally – pandemic notwithstanding – in person, one on one, on their home turf. (You should also be speaking with customers regularly, beyond the journey mapping process, but that’s a topic for another post.)

Having employees observe these interviews gives them a chance (often for the first time) to hear firsthand as customers describe the pain and delight they experience during the customer journey. And make sure to record these interviews so you can share them more widely!  It’s hard to overestimate how powerful this experience can be, and how effective at building empathy.

3. Action Phase

Now it’s time to share your learnings with the broader team. Create your map and present your detailed findings, along with your customer stories. Hold workshops to generate both long-term and short-term initiatives that address the opportunities revealed in the customer journey mapping process. Present your findings to the C-Suite. This phase is about homing in on the most impactful, cost-effective ways to boost loyalty.

4. Launch

This is where you build a structure on the foundation you’ve laid, strengthening the capabilities needed for ongoing journey improvements, optimized customer experiences, and sustainable profitability and growth.

Design the future-state journey, then create a measurement and governance framework so you can manage and monitor the impact of your customer initiatives. By tying your efforts to business metrics, you can prove the impact of the work you do and quantify your customers’ value.

This generates an increase in support from leadership that, in turn, helps you increase your impact even more.

This is where you truly reap the benefits of a considered, intentional customer journey mapping process steeped in change management principles.

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